“The latter half of the summer has definitely been drier than normal and warmer than normal,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Albrecht said. “As we’ve gotten into September, usually a month where you’re starting to cool off, we’re really stuck in this pattern.”
Only two days since mid-July saw even a measurable trace of rain, and it was the driest August since 1974, according to the Weather Service. Five days had highs in the 90s this year, compared with an annual average of three.
That warm, dry weather is partly due to the same persistent upper-level high-pressure system that caused the Midwest’s heat wave this year.
But that might change by next week, when forecasters think it might finally rain, Albrecht said.
Still, the long summer made for championship conditions on South Sound golfing greens.
“Our greens are as good as they’ve ever been,” said Stu Aden, head pro at the Tumwater Valley Municipal Golf Course.
The weather also bode well for waterfront businesses.
“People love to get outside, dine at the waterfront, and so that’s been really great, now that that’s continuing into September,” Anthony’s Restaurants spokeswoman Inge Kaiser said about their Tacoma and Olympia locations. “We even have blankets that we give to our guests as the evenings wind down – as the sun sets earlier, people still want to be outside.”
The weather also boosted kayak rentals at Tugboat Annie’s in Olympia.
“It’s been a good summer for kayaks,” manager Margaret Baker said. “The sun definitely helps our business.”
It’s too early to tell how the dry summer affected water use, Olympia city officials said.